Roma fans angry as Capello heads to rivals Juventus

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The Independent Online

The decision by Fabio Capello to walk out on Roma to take over from Marcello Lippi as coach at their most bitter rivals Juventus has shocked the Serie A runners-up and infuriated their fans.

The decision by Fabio Capello to walk out on Roma to take over from Marcello Lippi as coach at their most bitter rivals Juventus has shocked the Serie A runners-up and infuriated their fans.

A banner expressing in crude terms the feeling most Roma fans entertain towards Juventus was draped near the entrance to Roma's Trigoria training ground yesterday a few hours after the news that Capello had signed a three-year deal with Juve was announced. Local radio stations were bombarded with calls from Roma fans labelling Capello a "traitor" and hurling abuse at Juventus while the club's senior management called an emergency meeting.

Capello is unlikely to be forgiven for leaving Roma for Juventus for the second time in his career. In 1970, he was sold to Juve along with two other players, the defender Luciano Spinosi and the striker Fausto Landini, as the spine of the 1969 Italian Cup-winning side was exported as a package to Turin. The resulting violent protests eventually forced the club president, Alvaro Marchini, to leave the club.

Fans in Roma fear that Capello may strip the club of some of their best players. Juve have already signed Roma's highly-rated young French defender Jonathan Zebina, while their talented Brazil international midfielder, Emerson, confirmed he has been approached by the Turin side.

Italy, meanwhile, will wear black armbands in their friendly match against Tunisia tomorrow to mourn the death of the Fiat chairman and honorary president of Juve, Umberto Agnelli. Agnelli, who was also president of the Italian Football Federation from 1959 to 1961, died late on Thursday of cancer at the age of 69. A minute's silence will be observed before the start of the game in Tunis. His death is not expected to immediately affect the ownership of Juventus, which is controlled by the Agnelli family's holding company, Ifil, with a stake of more than 60 per cent.

In Spain, the former Real Madrid striker Emilio Butragueño will succeed Jorge Valdano as the club's sporting director. Butragueño, who has become a symbol of the Real team that won five consecutive league titles between 1986 and 1990, has been Valdano's deputy for the past four years. He played alongside Jose Antonio Camacho, who took over as coach at the start of the week after the dismissal of Carlos Queiroz.

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